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Home » What's New » Contact Lens Health Week and COVID

Contact Lens Health Week and COVID

August 17-21st is Contact Lens Health Week and as members of the American Optometric Association (AOA), we want to is reinforce that with proper hygiene practices, contact lenses can continue to be worn safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guidance for safe contact lens wear during the pandemic has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the seventh annual Contact Lens Health Week, August 17-21, 2020.
This year, the CDC, along with the AOA, wants to emphasize the importance of healthy contact lens hygiene practices in protecting against serious eye infections and other illnesses. Now more than ever, it’s important to wash your hands before handling your contact lenses. Handwashing is an essential first step in the fight against not just infections, but COVID-19 transmission.
Failure to wear, clean, and store lenses as directed increases the chance of getting germs in your eyes and causing complications. Contact lens-related eye infections can lead to long-lasting damage but often are preventable. Even minor infections can be painful and disrupt day-to-day life. Your contact lens wear and care habits, supplies, and us, as your eyecare provider are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy.
We recommend the following tips to help ensure proper wear and care for contact lenses:
• Always practice good hygiene and follow proper safety precautions when handling lenses. It has been noted that contact lens wearers touch their faces and eyes when inserting and removing lenses, which can spread germs.
• Exercise proper hand washing. When using contact lenses or spectacles, wash your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds, followed by hand drying with unused paper towels. This should occur before every contact lens insertion and removal. People should avoid touching their face, including their eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
• Disinfect contact lenses. Contact lens wearers should either dispose of their daily disposable lenses each evening, or regularly disinfect non-disposable lenses according to instructions from the manufacturer and one's eye doctor.
• Discontinue lens wear if sick. Consistent with recommendations for other types of illness, those who feel ill with cold or flu-like symptoms should cease contact lens wear.
The AOA and CDC make it clear that there is currently no evidence to suggest contact lens wearers are more at risk for acquiring COVID-19 than eyeglass wearers.
If you have questions regarding your contact lenses, please call.

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